T M & C, The Recipe

I am going to give you the recipe for the T,M, & C here FROM MEMORY!


(This is from America’s Test Kitchen)


1 lb elbow macaroni

28 oz. canned petite diced tomatoes (I used Pastene)

6 TSP unsalted butter

1 cup flour (white)

1/4 to 1/2 TSP cayenne pepper

(I used Hungarian paprika because I didn’t have cayenne)

1 cup chicken stock (I used low sodium)

4 cups Half & Half (do not substitute anything for this)

2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese

4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 TSP Salt

1 TSP Pepper


In a large pot, boil salted water and cook elbow macaroni until just under-done, al dente, about 8 mins. Drain macaroni and return to large pot.

Add a 28 oz. can of tomatoes, including the liquid, to the pasta and put on very low heat and stir occasionally to evaporate/absorb the liquid while you are doing the following (don’t burn it – keep stirring.

In a large saucepan on stove, melt the butter until frothy on medium heat.

Add the flour and cayenne (or paprika) and stir with whisk until smooth.

Add to the butter and flour the Half & Half, the chicken stock, the salt and the pepper, and keep stirring with a whisk slowly. Then add all the cheese, one handful at a time, and keep whisking. Let this simmer for about 10-15 minutes, whisking, until it thickens and is smooth.

Pour the cheese mixture into the big pot of pasta/tomatoes. Stir to incorporate all together.

Grease a large casserole dish.

Pour entire mixture and pasta into the casserole dish and place on a baking or cookie sheet to catch drips – I used aluminum foil under the dish, too.

Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 to 20 mins, or until the top is nicely golden/brown. Remove from oven and let sit for a bit before serving.


Cheers for Cheese!



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7 Responses to T M & C, The Recipe

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    BTW, I took that vocabulary quiz that’s on your page. My score was 3440. 🙂


  2. TopsyTurvy says:

    LOL! Bex you’ve sparked a long discussion on when to add tomatoes. DH’s recipe from his mom adds tomatoes at the very end of making the cheese sauce. And me, who doesn’t usually like tomatoes mixed with cheese thinks your way of doing things sounds better.

    It’ll be interesting to see which way DH ends up doing things, but I’d like to see him incorporate a lot of your recipe into his.

    We’ll see!

    ETA: Oh, I should also add that DH’s mom’s recipe had no milk in it or anything to make a sauce. It just melted the cheese in and dumped in the tomatoes.

    I like the sound of your recipe much better.


  3. Bex says:

    Since this was my first time making this particular recipe, I wanted to do it just the way it was provided by America’s Test Kitchen people. But yes, in the future I may tweak certain things, such as trying two different cheeses or whole wheat elbows would be great, too. At least I know the original recipe works. It was so creamy! The creamiest I’ve ever had.

    And to those of you who think this is very rich, consider that there are 12 one-cup servings or a tad more to this recipe. So divide all the ingredients by 12 and you really don’t get THAT much of everything at one sitting.


  4. Rhubarb says:

    I bet the cayenne would give it a nice little “kick”. I never yet met a recipe I didn’t want to fiddle with. Have you tried other kinds of cheeses? Whole wheat macaroni?


  5. sandy from iowa says:

    I meant to say__ate__rather than eat


  6. sandy from iowa says:

    I would like you to do a few of your favorite recipes in your journal space…you are a great cook and have some yummys to share maybe.
    Just a idea now that you have a wee more time.

    Sandy who has eat some of your yummy foods 🙂


  7. Wow!!! Sounds scrumptious! I will see if I can find the ingredients here in Korea. May have to ask my friend with a Costco card for help with that. (They seem to carry many U.S. products; I’ll bet they have Pastene tomatoes.)


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